Jesus is now focusing our attention on something absolutely magnificent. Something so critical to understanding the entire Bible. He directs us to the name of God. Names in the bible refer to character. Jesus is referring to the character of God. There is a scene in the bible where God is speaking to Moses and He begins to describe His name or His character to Moses. “Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:5-7 NKJV. God the Father introduces Himself as Yahweh Elohim, meaning the Lord God. And He describes attributes of His character as merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and forgiving. Then the apostle John comes around and takes all these characteristics of God and sums it up in one profound word in 1 John 4:8, “God is Love.” Therefore, Jesus is telling us that the reason we worship and adore the Father when we begin to pray is because of His name, which is His character of love. Jesus is saying…
Adoration comes from being in holy awe of God’s character of love
When you see in God the beauty of who He really is, it awakens a response. Regardless of what your earthly father is like, whether good or bad, when you see the goodness of God’s character, you can’t help but adore Him.
I love to hear Ty Gibson tell the story about his father. When he was a little boy there was one safe place that he loved to go. It was up in a tree right next to his house. You see he needed a safe place to go so he didn’t have to hear his mother getting beaten by his drunken father. He described his home life as hell on earth. Then one day his mom called to him while he was in the tree to come down and into the house. She then quietly brought him into a room and then slowly pulled out an old picture. Then she told Ty, “Charlie is not your dad.” Charlie was the only father Ty knew. He was developing a hatred for Charlie. He regularly abused Ty’s mom and know the words just kept ringing over and over again in his brain, “Charlie is not your dad.” She then shows Ty a picture of his true father, whom his mother described as a good and loving man. His name was Johnny. She told Ty that he never beat her like Charlie did. Though Ty never understood why it didn’t work out with Johnny and his mom, the revelation that Charlie wasn’t his real father and that his true father was a good man made a complete seismic shift in his thinking. He describes a major change taking place inside of him that day, that set him free. It led him on a journey that by age 17 caused him to rethink his picture of God. Before he didn’t want to have anything to do with God. He had the wrong picture of his Father in his head, but when he finally saw God’s true character of love he said,
Jesus is also inviting you to see the Father for who He really is. In this prayer Jesus teaches that we are to regard God’s name as hallowed, which means holy. We are to honor and revere God’s name. We are to stand in awe at the majestic beauty of His character. He is holy because of His love. Holiness and love go hand in hand in the bible. In God, they are of the same quality and substance. In Isaiah chapter 6:1-8, the prophet Isaiah is given a vision of God sitting on His throne. He sees and hears angels, who are before the throne, saying in verse 3, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:3 NKJV. The glory of God referred to in scripture is primarily describing God’s character. The angel’s that surround the throne of God, every time they see something in God’s character of love, especially in how He deals with humanity on earth, can’t help but worship Him and cry out holy! They are in awe at the character of God. They adore Him, because they ascribe ultimate worth to what they see in His character. This is where the word worship comes from. To ascribe ultimate worth to something or someone.
Love is not just one aspect of God’s character among many others. It is the full scope of His character from which all other attributes of His character come from. In other words, God’s mercy, grace, forgiveness and long-suffering all stem from His love. His justice, judgment, anger and wrath are also all flowing from His heart of immense love. And when you finally see Him for who He really is in the storyline of scripture, that is when adoration for the Father will flow from a heart that is in awe of His character.
My question to you is do you see Him? Are you spending quality time with Him in His word every day gazing into His character? Are you seeing in Him a Good Father in whom you can adore? Everyday I follow a one year bible reading plan that takes me through the Old and New testament. And I’ve gotten into the practice of journaling the answer to 4 questions I ask of what I read every day. The first of these 4 questions is “How did God reveal His character of love to you in today’s reading?” I want to encourage you to do the same. Fix your eyes on Him everyday. You will be astonished at what you’ll discover. And I believe you will like what you see.
What’s amazing about this prayer is that Jesus taught His disciples to pray is that Jesus, Himself, is the clearest revelation of the Father He’s inviting them to pray to! John 1:18 says, “The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” Then in John 14:9, Jesus says “…He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” And in Hebrews 1:3 it says of Jesus, in relation to the Father, that He is, “…the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…” Jesus is the revelation of God’s character of love in human flesh! In prayer we personally and publicly worship and adore God as Father, because of His great love to us revealed in Christ. And there is no greater place where God’s love is put on full display than at the cross of Christ. There is where He invites you to bring your sins. There is were He takes the nuclear bomb of your sins and places them upon Himself. There is were He pours His forgiveness and grace on you like a flood. There is were He says to you, “You can start again.” The Father’s character of love is ultimately revealed in Christ and Him crucified.